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Fish & Game’s ‘offbeat’ school holiday entertainment

17 April, 2018

Fish & Game’s ‘offbeat’ school holiday entertainment

Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game staff are preparing to lay on some school holiday entertainment of a very different sort – the chance for a “close encounter” with hundreds of catchable trout as they’re released into Lake Pupuke.

The 1000-plus trout will be released into the lake at Sylvan Park on Thursday (April 19, 2018).

Auckland/Waikato Fisheries Manager Dr Adam Daniel says the release has been timed to cater to requests from parents and grandparents looking for outdoor entertainment for kids over the school holidays.

“Fish releases at Lake Pupuke provide some excellent entertainment in the form hundreds of trout spilling into the lake and darting in all directions,” he says.

“The live trout truck carries the fish in oxygenated tanks which are in darkness, so that when the fish are flushed out into the lake they’re completely disoriented.”

The young trout often end up sheltering on the lake’s edge giving plenty of opportunity for children to see and touch fish, which aren’t harmed by the contact, he says.

Dr Daniel says this year’s event has been kindly sponsored by Pure Fishing NZ so there will be some great spot prizes for the children who attend.

Members of the public are welcome to attend from 11am on, with the release scheduled for around mid-day on the edge of the lake in Sylvan Park next to the Madloop Windsurfing School.

The release will be carried out once the trout truck arrives from Fish & Game’s hatchery in Rotorua.

Parents attending the event with children should prepare for kids to get wet and dirty as most kids can’t resist touching the fish and some get in the water to swim with the fish, Dr Daniel says.

“Some kids jump in to help release and disperse the trout so supervision is advised.”

The fish are eventually be pushed into deeper water with help from staff and children and Adam Daniel’s dog, “Daisy the fish dispersal labrador.”

Daisy chases fish out of the release area to prevent the local shags from turning them into a quick meal, he says.

The fish release is timed to help stock up the lake for the annual Lake Pupuke Challenge Community Fishing Competition to be held at Sylvan Park on Sunday, April 22.

But Adam Daniel says that parents and caregivers are encouraged to give trout fishing a go at the lake in the holidays. Trout can be caught from the lake edge using spinners, soft bait or fly casting following the release.

Younger anglers who haven’t learnt to cast may have better luck using bait suspended under a float.

Anyone fishing for sports fish needs to have a valid licence but children under 11 can get a free licence and juniors (12-17 years old) can buy a licence at a reduced cost.

Fishing licences can be purchased from most fishing retailers or from the Fish and Game website (


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